In the world of gaming, the Nintendo Switch may not have the same raw power as other platforms, but it certainly doesn’t lack in visually stunning games. Despite not being capable of native 4K at 120 fps, the Switch can still deliver impressive graphics that can rival the best of the generation. It’s incredible to see how far we’ve come since the days of the Game Boy.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the most visually striking games on the Switch. These games prove that you don’t need a powerhouse console to create beautiful visuals. While many cross-platform titles like Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, The Witcher 3, Warframe, and Alien: Isolation look impressive on the Switch considering its technical limitations, the following list focuses on games that stand alongside the best-looking titles of the generation, regardless of platform. No “considering the hardware” caveats here!
Luigi’s Mansion 3
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Next Level Games
Release Date: 31st Oct 2019 (USA) / 31st Oct 2019 (UK/EU)
Luigi’s Mansion 3 took us by surprise with its stunning visuals. Developer Next Level Games squeezed every ounce of graphical power out of the hardware, resulting in a truly lovely looking game. The attention to detail is remarkable, proving that you can create impressive graphics without relying solely on processing power.
Publisher: Shin’en Multimedia / Developer: Shin’en Multimedia
Release Date: 21st Nov 2019 (USA) / 21st Nov 2019 (UK/EU)
The Touryst offers a silky-smooth gaming experience with a locked 60fps and maximized pixel count in both docked and handheld mode. Its colorful voxel art style and vibrant island setting make it a pleasure to behold. If you haven’t played this gem yet, we highly recommend giving it a try.
Kingdom Two Crowns
Publisher: Raw Fury / Developer: Noio
Release Date: 11th Dec 2018 (USA) / 11th Dec 2018 (UK/EU)
Kingdom Two Crowns is proof that 2D pixel art games can be breathtaking. Despite some performance hiccups, the game’s wondrous reflections, subtle lighting, and intricate landscapes more than make up for it. This visually stunning game is a feast for the eyes.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Square Enix
Release Date: 13th Jul 2018 (USA) / 13th Jul 2018 (UK/EU)
Octopath Traveler features a unique visual style called “HD-2D” that combines 16-bit-style sprites with a gorgeous 3D world. The result is a stunning and cohesive aesthetic that is both nostalgic and modern. Its evocative depth-of-field and lighting effects truly make it stand out.
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: PlatinumGames
Release Date: 30th Aug 2019 (USA) / 30th Aug 2019 (UK/EU)
Astral Chain, an exclusive title for the Switch, showcases PlatinumGames’ signature style with its easy charm. What sets it apart is its cohesive art direction, which creates a rich world of contrasting colors and detailed character designs. It’s a unique take on a dystopian future that deserves recognition for its visual appeal.
The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo
Release Date: 20th Sep 2019 (USA) / 20th Sep 2019 (UK/EU)
Developer Grezzo did an outstanding job reimagining the classic Game Boy game with a wonderful toy-like aesthetic. Despite some performance issues, The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening remains one of the most visually impressive games on the Switch.
Rayman Legends: Definitive Edition
Publisher: Ubisoft / Developer: Ubisoft
Release Date: 12th Sep 2017 (USA) / 12th Sep 2017 (UK/EU)
While Rayman Legends may be a holdover from the previous generation, it still stands as one of the most visually stunning 2D platformers. Its timeless cartoon art style continues to impress, and the Definitive Edition on the Switch is a testament to that. If you haven’t experienced this limbless wonder’s adventure, we highly recommend giving it a go.
Publisher: Devolver Digital / Developer: Nomada Studio
Release Date: 13th Dec 2018 (USA) / 13th Dec 2018 (UK/EU)
GRIS is a delicate indie platformer with a mesmerizing watercolor art style. Its captivating visuals and relaxing gameplay provide a much-needed escape from the stresses of everyday life. If you’re looking for a visually captivating game, GRIS is a must-play.
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap
Publisher: Dotemu / Developer: Lizardcube
Release Date: 18th Apr 2017 (USA) / 18th Apr 2017 (UK/EU)
Wonder Boy: The Dragon’s Trap is a stunning remake of a classic Master System game. The game offers the ability to switch between Lizardcube’s incredible artwork and the original 8-bit graphics seamlessly. This feature allows players to appreciate the beautiful new art style while still experiencing the nostalgia of the original. The attention to detail in both versions is truly commendable.
Publisher: Raw Fury / Developer: Oskar Stålberg
Release Date: 26th Aug 2021 (USA) / 26th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)
Townscaper may not be a traditional game, but its eye-catching aesthetics make it a delightful plaything. This indie curio allows players to create intricate towns on the water with ease. With the ability to adjust the time of day in real-time, Townscaper offers endless opportunities to create something aesthetically pleasing and soothing.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild
Publisher: Nintendo / Developer: Nintendo SPD
Release Date: 3rd Mar 2017 (USA) / 3rd Mar 2017 (UK/EU)
No list of visually stunning Switch games would be complete without mentioning The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Despite its minor technical imperfections, the game’s systems and art direction combine to create a truly majestic experience. The vast open world and breathtaking landscapes make it one of the most beautiful games on the Switch, even three years after its release.
Publisher: Naps Team / Developer: Naps Team
Release Date: 27th Aug 2021 (USA) / 27th Aug 2021 (UK/EU)
Despite being a disappointing game overall, Baldo manages to captivate players with its incredible Ghibli-esque art style. From the moment it was revealed, gamers around the world were drawn to its visual charm. While the game may fall short in other areas, its stunning visuals make it worth a look.